A Message from the Grave; a Pommern Story
A family in Germany found my SMS Pommern web site, and was kind enough to share a family story with me. I feel privileged that they have shared this fascinating history with me, and am honoured to be allowed to share it with the readers of this web site.

To protect their privacy, I have not used the family name.
The Pommern Glass (As told to me by the family)

My grandfather Oberleutnant zur See N.v. D. served on the SMS Pommern as first gunnery officer (Oberleutnant zur See) from her launching until some time in 1915, when he was promoted to Kapitänleutnant and given command of a destroyer.

At the time, all German warships had a very luxuriously appointed officers mess and the Pommern had especially fine drinking glasses in the officers mess due to a gift of another fellow officer.

When my grandfather left the ship to take up his new command he was given a punch glass from the mess as a souvenir of his duty on board the Pommern.

In 1916 shortly before the battle of Jutland my grandfather's destroyer developed a very serious machinery fault and could not join the German High Sea's Fleet when they went into battle with the British Grand Fleet on 31 May 1916.

During the early morning of that night my grandfather was sleeping aboard his ship when he was awoken around 3 AM by a loud crack like a pistol shot; my grandfather looked around his cabin and found that the glass from the Pommern was broken, though it was still standing on its normal place. The next day he heard that the Pommern went down with all hands; at the exact moment the glass broke.......

He wrote this story on a card and kept the glass in a box together with the card which I found about 20 years ago when I was clearing out the attic.
The Front of the Note Written by Oberleutnant zur See N.v. D.

Linienschiff " Pommern " (2.12.05) 6.8.07
Flotte: 1.6.16/ 3h 13 Torpedo
v. engl. Zerst. der XII. Fl/
Nordsee 55° 40 n / 6 ° 35 ö
839 Tote
The Back of the Note


SMS Pommern.

01 June 1916

839 Tote
The 839 sailors of the SMS Pommern remain on duty, still at sea.